Kroger To Launch Apeel Avocados That Last Twice As Long

by Shawn Binder on 09/25/2019 | 2 Minute Read

Fruits and vegetables are already pretty fantastic (says every parent), but that they come in their own natural packaging is one of the great wonders of nature.

And now, it just got a little better.

Kroger will begin selling avocados, limes, and asparagus treated with a plant-based solution that helps slow down decay. The solution is called APEEL, and before conspiracy theorists come up with a convoluted theory about the government brainwashing us with crop-dusting, the innovative coating is a colorless, odorless powder mixed with water and then sprayed. When brushed or otherwise applied to lock in moisture and block oxygen, produce is said to last at least twice as long as regular avocados.

Apeel is a seven-year-old startup that raised $110 million from investors that include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Andreessen Horowitz, Viking Global Investors and others, and their technology has "proven to extend the life of perishable produce, reducing food waste in transport, in our retail stores and in our customers' homes," Frank Romero, Kroger's vice president of produce, said in a statement last Wednesday.

Better still, a longer shelf-life means less product purchased that goes rotten.

 "We've been able to reduce in-store waste by more than 50%," Apeel founder and CEO James Rogers told CNN Business. "Our product more than pays for itself."

Editorial photograph

Apeel says its product comes from plant-derived materials, including lipids and glycerolipids, which you can already find in many foods. The FDA recognizes those additives as safe, meaning Apeel does not require government approval. We love a good loophole in the name of sustainability. 

The longer-lasting avocados will sell at the same price as their faster-aging counterparts to test how different markets react to the new offerings. While only time will tell if people are down to purchase produce with the knowledge that it’s sprayed with a compound, the advancement marks a win for grocery stores who are striving to be more conscious of their environmental impact. 

The partners expect that the advancement will prevent millions of avocados from ending up in landfills, and significantly decrease carbon emissions that are harmful to the environment and contribute to global warming. That longer shelf-life also means fewer emissions when it comes to transporting the product. Additionally, the compound is expected to save over one billion gallons of water and help preserve dozens of acres of farmland.

Apeel may not quell the complaints of baby boomers about Millenials and their avocado toast stunting the economy, but it’s a step in the right direction. 

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